Takeaways from Nvidia’s latest quarterly earnings

Nvidia has been on a wild growth ride the past five years. Surfing a wave around AI deep learning and cryptocurrency where its specialized chip architecture is among the highest performing, the company’s share price rose from the low $20s in late 2014 to eventually soar to almost $300 in September 2018. And then crypto winter set in, and within weeks the company’s market cap was sliced nearly in half as crypto miners canceled their orders and inventories at Nvidia started building up a glut of chips.

Since that nadir in late 2018, the company has mostly been on the upswing as it has pushed expansion into a variety of other verticals like automotive, most notably by announcing the purchase of Israeli chip maker Mellanox for $6.9 billion in an all cash deal.

So with its latest earnings announcement coming after the bell yesterday, the big questions were how it was continuing to navigate chip inventories, and whether its transaction with Mellanox would close. The company ultimately presented a bit of a mixed bag, and Wall Street seems to have barely budged on the stock price as we all wait resolution on some of the key questions facing the company.

Before we dive into the analysis, first the high level numbers for Q3, which ended on October 27: top-line revenues declined slightly to just above $3 billion, from roughly $3.2 billion in the year ago quarter. Gross profits were flat from a year ago, but net income was down 27% to $899 million, mostly due to higher R&D costs and lower income from operations. Earnings per share was $1.47, down from $2.02 a year ago.

Now though, there were some more interesting takeaways from the results beyond the sort of lukewarm numbers emanating off the income statements.

China trade war still affecting Nvidia through Mellanox